Are we currently sleeping on 49ers’ QB Sam Darnold?

Sam Darnold, Carolina Panthers (Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Sam Darnold, Carolina Panthers (Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

The San Francisco 49ers quietly signed Sam Darnold this offseason. Are we sleeping on him as a legitimate QB option for the team?  I’m not going crazy, am I?  Could Darnold really be an option for this team that just made a run to the NFC Championship Game with Brock Purdy?

Sam Darnold is one of the more interesting QBs in the NFL.  He was highly coveted out of college and has had two unsuccessful stints in the NFL with the New York Jets and Carolina Panthers.  But for some reason, people still keep milking his potential in the NFL.

He’s entering his sixth season in the NFL and is still just 26 years old.  He also has all of the tools that a modern-day franchise QB should have; the arm strength, size, and mobility.  There’s also the case of him playing for two dysfunctional franchises and perhaps not being given a legitimate shot, which is an argue that has some substance to it.

Now, Darnold is on his third team in the NFL and it presents him with one of the best situations for QBs in the NFL.  Kyle Shanahan is a QB whisperer and has gotten legitimate success out of QBs who probably should not have had said success.

He’s constantly elevating the QBs he plays and the 49ers also boast an elite core of skill players on offense like George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and Christian McCaffrey.  There might not be a better situation on offense for a QB to be in than in San Fran.

And, with Brock Purdy’s elbow injury, is it possible that Sam Darnold could begin the year as the starter for the 49ers?

If that does happen, is it possible that he actually plays well enough to remain the starter?  He’s a more talented QB than Purdy and I don’t think the 49ers are considering Trey Lance as a viable option anymore.  I bet they are holding out trading him until a semi-competitive offer comes along.

Darnold is the shiny new toy on the 49ers and might have a chance to be the starter for the team.